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Old 07-06-2009, 08:21 PM   #1
Captain Kenpachi
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Default Differential Removal

Do-It-Yourself Differential Removal by James92LS
(Disclaimer: Do this work at your own risk and only if you are mechanically smart – do not even think of coming after me if you screw up your car or yourself.)
This DIY was written to help those with a leaking differential. It includes instructions on how to remove the differential and replace all the seals. The typical reason it is necessary to remove the differential is to replace the differential pinion seal, which is the seal that goes between the transmission and the differential. One must either drop the transmission or remove the differential. If one has the proper tools (i.e., a car lift and a transmission lift), it may be easier to remove the transmission – But for those trying to do this in their garage, it is easier to remove the differential. Make sure you read the helms service manual differential section which is attached at the end of this document in pdf format. Any references to left, right, rear, etc. in the instructions are from the perspective of one sitting in the driver’s seat, facing forward.

Parts you will need:

Total of 6 seals you should replace (pictures of each seal are in the instructions below):
1) Differential pinion seal – goes between the differential and the transmission – 91209-PY4-003
2) Right Axle seal – goes between the differential and the right axle – 91206-PY4-004
3) Intermediate shaft O-ring – goes between the intermediate shaft and the oil pan – 91331-PY3-000
4) Intermediate shaft seal – goes between the intermediate shaft and the left axle - 91260-SL0-004
5) Differential to oil pan O-ring – goes between the left side of the differential and the oil pan –
91332-PY3-000
6) Speed sensor O-ring – goes on the speed sensor – 91313-611-010

Other things to replace:
• Differential drain crush washer - 94109-20000
• Differential fill crush washer - 94109-14000
• Cotter pins for castle nut (you will need two, one for each wheel) - 94201-30220

The helms service manual also recommends replacing a few set rings, but it isn’t really necessary unless one is worn or broken.
• Differential extension shaft set ring - 44319-PY5-000
• Right axle set ring – goes between the right axle and the differential - 44319-SL0-300
• Left axle set ring – goes between the intermediate shaft and the left axle - 44319-SL0-300

Fluids you will need:
• Honda Coolant (if you drain the coolant). It’ll hold a little over a gallon with a normal drain/fill
• Gear oil (differential fluid) – Service manual recommends SAE 90 for temps above -18 degrees C (SAE 80W – 90 for temps below -18 degrees C). It’ll hold a little over a quart (1.11).
• Super High Temp Urea Grease (P/N: 08798-9002 or just get from your local auto parts store)


Tools you will need:
• Jack
• Jack stands
• Optional: Acura extension shaft puller, P/N: 07LAC-PW50100 (expensive and not really needed)
• Optional: Acura extension shaft installer, P/N: 07MAF-PY40100 (expensive and not really needed)
• Optional: Acura (or other) Ball Joint remover tool, P/N: 07MAC-SL00200 (not really needed)
• Two drain pans, one for coolant and one for differential oil (only one pan is needed if you don’t drain the coolant).
• Gear oil pump (you can buy one for a few bucks at a local auto parts store).
• Various wrenches, sockets (10, 12, 14, 17mm etc.), and pliers (regular and needle nose).
• Torque wrench if you want to put all the bolts back on to specifications.
• A very good friend
• A lot of guts
• A full day of work (it took me from 10 am to 6 pm from start to finish with the help of a friend)
Differential Removal Instructions:

1. Jack up the front of the car and put jack stands under the front lift points. Try to get the car pretty high so it will be easier to work under. I was able to get mine about 14” high (measured from the floor to the top of the jack stands). Don’t forget to put the e-brake on hard and put blocks around the rear tires.

2. Drain the differential oil by opening the drain plug. Wait about 10 minutes while it all drains out, then put the plug back in (spec is 29 lb-ft). Don’t forget to use a new differential drain crush washer (P/N: 94109-20000).


3. Antifreeze runs through the differential, so you may want to drain the coolant from the car as well. I didn’t drain my coolant, I just plugged up the hoses after I pulled them off of the differential. This didn’t work very well and made a pretty big mess, so I would recommend draining the coolant.
a. Open the radiator cap (make sure the engine is cool when doing this).
b. The coolant drain plug is at the bottom of the radiator on the left side. It is normally a white plastic knob that you turn with your fingers. On my car I had to cut through the plastic cover on the bottom of the car to get to it – on newer years there is already a hole in the plastic so you can reach this plug.
c. Let the coolant drain out and then tighten up the drain plug.

4. Remove the drive shafts from the differential - Note that the method I used does not remove the axles from the hubs, but only from the differential. So the axles will remain under the car and attached to the hub (but removed from the differential obviously) while you are removing the differential.

a. Remove the front wheels.
b. Locate the lower ball joint with the castle nut on the bottom. This is the very bottom of your suspension, just behind the rotor.

d. Remove the castle nut
e. Use one of the following methods to get the ball joint out:
i. Use the ball joint remover tool.
ii. Turn the castle nut upside down from its original position and screw it part way back onto the bolt, but make sure the bolt doesn’t come out the bottom of the castle nut. Use your jack and put it under the castle nut. Jack the suspension part way up so there is pressure on the castle nut. Hammer the lower arm next to the castle nut until the bolt pops loose inside the ball joint (the purpose of putting the castle nut on upside down is to give the jack something to sit on rather than just the threads of the bolt, which you don’t want to screw up. Also, it is better to use a rubber mallet than a hammer, as it is easier on the car, but either work).

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Old 07-06-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
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alternative to for a extension shaft tool

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Old 07-06-2009, 08:29 PM   #3
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f. Once the ball joint is loose, you can lift the hub out of the ball joint and pull it away from the car. This will give you some slack in the axle so you will be able to pull it out of the differential.

g. Repeat steps b – f for the other side of the car.

h. Using a flathead screwdriver (and possibly a hammer!), pry apart the left axle until it pops out. Make sure when pulling the axle out of the differential you pull as close to the differential as possible as you don’t want to pull any of the rubber boots apart.

i. Remove the three bolts that hold on the intermediate shaft (left side of the differential). Keep track of one of these bolts, as you will need it later to remove the extension shaft.

j. Again, using a screwdriver, pry the intermediate shaft away from the oil pan.

k. On the right side of the differential pry the right axle away from the differential.

5. Remove the lower plate. Replace the steering gear box bolts (the two 17 mm bolts) after you have removed the lower plate. (I’m not sure why, but the helms service manual says to).

6. You may find it easier to remove the differential if you loosen some of the plastic cover on the underside of the car (Toward the front of the car).

7. Remove the bolt holding the speed sensor in the differential. Remove the speed sensor, but don’t disconnect any of the hoses going to the speed sensor. You can leave the speed sensor hanging, but tuck it out of the way so it won’t get damaged.

8. Disconnect the coolant hoses going to the differential. There are two, one at the bottom and one at the top. There is a third on the top, but it is just a vent and doesn’t go anywhere, you don’t need to disconnect this one. If you haven’t drained the coolant, remove the top hose first and plug it with something, then remove the bottom hose and catch the remaining coolant still in the differential with some paper towels (it won’t be very much). Note: Removing the upper hose was probably the hardest step for me. It is difficult to reach and the metal clip holding it on is fairly large, so removing it with small pliers is difficult.
9. Pop open the secondary cover with a screwdriver. This is a small metal cap. It is difficult to explain where this is, but hopefully the pictures will help.



The picture to the right is the part that the caption: “cover
you want to remove” is pointing to.

10. Remove the 36mm sealing bolt behind the secondary cover with a half-inch socket wrench. (see first picture on previous page)

11. With the cover and sealing bolt removed you can see the end of the shaft that needs to be pulled out so you can easily remove the differential. There are two ways to get the shaft out, use one of the following methods:

a. Use the extension shaft puller you bought from Acura (P/N: 07LAC-PW50100). This tool is around $70 and takes about a month to get either from Acura or ahmotor.com
b. Use a huge washer and one of the three bolts that were holding on the intermediate shaft to the side of the oil pan (see step 3i).
i. I used this method and used a washer from under the hood of the car. At the top of the suspension, where it connects in the engine bay, there is a huge washer. You may need to put a jack at the bottom of the suspension to make sure the spring or strut doesn’t extend when you remove this nut (I’m not sure if you really need to do this, but I wasn’t sure, so I didn’t take any chances).

ii. Once you have this washer, put one of the intermediate shaft bolts through it and screw it into the back of the extension shaft. Leave a small gap so you can fit a screwdriver between the washer and metal housing around the extension shaft.

iii. Pry the extension shaft out the rear of the housing with a screwdriver. You only need to pull it out an inch or two.
iv. Now you can unbolt the differential and it will drop out of the car without getting hung up on the shaft coming from the transmission.
12. There are a total of 7 bolts holding on the differential. 1 goes from the differential to the transmission, and the remaining 6 go from the differential into the side of the oil pan. There are four on the top of the differential and two on the bottom. I suggest you label these as you remove them so you know where each one goes back in. You will need an extension on your wrench to get to three of the top bolts. Before removing all of these bolts you may want to get a block of wood, or use your jack to give the differential some support so it won’t fall (did I mention you will want a friend to help you with this DIY? ). Depending on what tools you have available, you may need to undo some of the bolts holding the steering rack (the long bar going side to side near the rear of the differential) so you can get to the bolt that goes between the differential and the transmission (I had to do this). Also to note is a small 26mm shim/washer between the differential and the transmission that you don’t want to lose as you’ll need to put this back when you reinstall the differential.
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btw, all caps is screaming... please don't scream it wears out my hearing aid batteries.

Last edited by Captain Kenpachi; 07-06-2009 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:42 PM   #4
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13. Once the 7 bolts are removed you may need to jiggle the differential and possibly pry a screwdriver between the differential and the oil pan to get the differential away from the seal between the differential and oil pan.

14. Congratulations, you got your differential out. I suggest you clean it up, but be careful to not get any water or cleaner inside the differential. Make sure the four openings (rear shaft, left and right axle, and speed sensor) are clean and no dirt falls in.

15. Now, to replace the seals. There are two on the differential you want to replace: the differential pinion seal (P/N: 91209-PY4-003) and the right axle seal (P/N: 91206-PY4-004).
a. For the differential pinion seal I used the rounded side of a wrench and a small hammer to tap the seal in place.

b. For the right axle seal I placed the seal over the opening, put a wood block flat across the entire surface of the seal, and tapped the wood block with a hammer a few times.

16. Also there is an O-ring on the oil pan that goes into the left side of the differential you will want to replace (P/N: 91332-PY3-000).

17. There are two seals on the intermediate shaft that you want to replace. One is an O-ring that goes between the intermediate shaft and the oil pan, and one that goes between the intermediate shaft at the left axle. (O-ring P/N: 91331-PY3-000. Seal P/N: 91260-SL0-004).


18. There is a small O-ring on the speed sensor that you should replace. (P/N: 91313-611-010)

19. Also, if you purchased the set rings you can replace these now as well. I didnít do this, so I donít have detailed instructions on the procedure. It should be pretty straightforward. One thing to note, the helms manual says to make sure the opening on the set ring for the differential extension shaft is pointed up.

20. Now that you have all the seals and set rings replaced you are ready to put things back together.
21. Before you lift the differential back up, you should put in place the long bolt that is closest to the upper coolant hose and the breather hose clamp as it is hard to put in after the differential is lifted up. (Number 4 in the picture).

22. My friend and I found it easiest to lift the differential up in place and partially screw in the two bottom bolts to hold the differential in place (make sure you donít hit the lower differential coolant hose as you lift the differential up). From here we pushed the differential against the oil pan so the top bolts would line up and partially screwed them in place.

23. Line up the rear of the differential against the transmission, place the 26mm shim in the gap, and screw in the differential to transmission bolt. The helms service manual says to tighten this bolt first (47 lb-ft).

24. Tighten the remaining 6 bolts (47 lb-ft).

25. Reinstall the speed sensor and tighten the bolt (9 lb-ft).

26. Reconnect the coolant hoses (upper and lower).

27. Reinstall the left and right axles

a. Install the intermediate shaft back through the oil pan and screw into place with the three bolts (16 lb-ft).
b. Install the left axle into the intermediate shaft. This may take a little bit of force to get it past the set ring. I used a 2x4 piece of wood and a small hammer to pop the axle past the set ring.
c. Install the right axle into the differential. This also will take a little bit of force to get it past the set ring. I used the same 2x4 piece of wood and was able to hit it with the palm of my hand and it went back in.

28. Lift the hub back into the ball joint and tighten the castle nut (51 Ė 58 lb-ft). Tighten to the lowest spec, and then keep turning until the hole for the cotter pin lines up. Do this for the hub on the other side of the car. Cotter pin P/N: 94201-30220

29. Use one of the following procedures to reinstall the extension shaft:
a. Use the extension shaft installer tool you bought from Acura (P/N: 07MAF-PY40100).
b. Push/Hammer it back in.
i. I used this method. To make it easy you need at least two people for this step. Somehow lock one of the front wheels from turning. Have one person go to the other wheel that isnít locked and turn it very slowly (With one wheel locked and the other wheel turning the shaft inside the differential will turn, allowing the extension shaft teeth to line up). As they are turning the wheel have the second person pushing on the extension shaft. Once the teeth line up it should slide back in part way. This will get it into the groove, but you still need to get the shaft past the set ring. This is where you use the hammer.
ii. Get a somewhat long (about 1 foot) rod and place it against the shaft and then hammer the other end of the rod until the shaft goes past the set ring. I used the rod that is included with the jack that comes with our car.

30. Pack the area around the extension shaft with the high temp grease, and then reinstall the 36 mm sealing bolt.
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Still a fan of the Type 1, even tho its let me down twice, eventually, Im just going to build the fuck out of that engine, and show you its superiority.
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btw, all caps is screaming... please don't scream it wears out my hearing aid batteries.

Last edited by Captain Kenpachi; 07-06-2009 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:00 PM   #5
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I was curious about extension shaft install and the set ring
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:50 PM   #6
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31. Put the metal secondary cover cap back on by tapping it with a hammer.

32. Put the lower plate and 14 bolts back on (don’t forget to remove the two bolts from the steering gear box first). The smaller bolts are 29 lb-ft and the two larger bolts are 44 lb-ft.

33. If you loosened the lower plastic cover, make sure to replace and tighten all the bolts.

34. If you drained your coolant, refill the radiator to the bottom of the filler neck with Honda coolant. Fill the reservoir up to the max line.

35. With the car still on jack stands and the wheels off I would check to make sure everything is working properly before you put everything else back together. I started my car up while it was still on the jack stands and made sure the transmission would engage and the rotors would turn.

36. Put the wheels back on the car and lower it to the ground

37. Level the car in preparation for refilling the differential. I was able to do this in my driveway because my driveway is at a slight downward slope so when I drive my car up onto ramps it makes the car level. If you need to move your car it is ok to start it up and drive it a few feet before refilling the differential with gear oil.

38. Open up the differential fill plug and start pumping in the gear oil until it starts to run back out the fill hole. Let it drain out until it stops. Make sure you do this with the car level (show pic from book 15-4

39. Replace the differential fill plug and use a new crush washer (P/N: 94109-14000). Torque on this bolt is 33 lb-ft.

40. Check to make sure you didn’t forget to hook anything back up.

41. Take the car for a drive and listen for any weird noises or other problems.

42. After returning, check for any leaks.

43. Now we need to bleed the coolant system (even if you didn’t fully drain the coolant).
a. Drive the car to bring it up to operating temperature and then come back home and park on a level surface.
b. With the engine hot, carefully wrap some paper towels around the coolant bleeder bolt.
c. With one hand cover the bleed bolt with a wad of paper towels and with the other hand slowly loosen the bleeder bolt. Bubbling coolant will start to come out. Let the coolant run out until there is a steady stream without bubbles and then retighten the bolt.
d. Check the coolant reservoir and refill to the max line if necessary.
e. You may want to repeat this process once a day for a few days to make sure all of the air has been removed from the coolant system.

44. Email me if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to help: jamesgbjamesgb@hotmail.com

Double click the icon below to view the helms service manual procedures for removing the differential and the drive shafts. My instructions differ slightly from the service manual, but the pictures from the helms service manual help to understand the procedure. I recommend reading through this pdf before starting.

Here are pictures of most of the seals and rings you should replace when removing and reinstalling the differential. I don’t have a picture of all of them, but these are most of them.


These are not condoms..
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:57 PM   #7
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Douknow if it changes the size of seals it its a/t or a m/t???
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldacura View Post
James - thanks for the extensive write-up. Some questions:

1) What was the most difficult repair procedure you did before this one & how did this compare to it in difficulty?

2) Did any of the steps require a second person?

3) You said that disconnecting the upper coolant hose was very difficult. Would it be possible to cut this hose instead & replace it (would this make it any easier)?

4) Are there any other items you would suggest replacing with the differential out?

5) If you were to do it again, what would you do differently?

Thanks again.
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Originally Posted by James92LS View Post
Hey Oldacura,

Sorry for not replying sooner, I actually have a sticky note on my keyboard to remind me to respond to your questions in the other thread

So here are the answers:

1) I'd have to say the most difficult repair I did before this was probably replacing my brake pads - not very complex However, I did have help from someone who knew what they were doing. They hadn't done any work on Legends specifically, but work on cars in general. I probably would have been able to do it myself, but it would have taken longer.

2) Yes - when I was putting the differential shaft back in I needed someone to turn one of the axles to make the gears in the differential turn so the teeth on the shaft would line up inside the differential. (See step 29.b.i)

3) Yes, you could just cut this hose if you wanted. It would make taking it out easier. Once the differential is out you should be able to unclip it from the engine side pretty easily and just replace it. It still might give you some trouble when you put the differential back in as you'll have to attach the hose to the engine side first.

4) Hmmm, not that I can think of off the top of my head. I listed pretty much every part that the service manual tells you to replace when removing, so I think you should be good.

5) Probably would have drained the coolant instead of trying to plug the holes - that made a huge mess.

Let me know if you have any questions. Also, if you want to have my phone number around for when you do the job incase you have any questions, I'd be happy to give it to you.

-James
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Originally Posted by oldacura View Post
James - thanks for the reply.

I'm not especially mechanically inclined with my car. To date, I have replaced the radiator & hoses, the brake master cylinder & the brake pads. Neither of these was very difficult. I've found that if you're just willing to tackle a job, their not too bad.

Several people have talked about how difficult this job is and especially how difficult it was to disconnect the upper coolant hose.

I might have a hard time finding someone to help me with the job but I have 2 cars so if it takes a while to finish, so what.

My diff was leaking but I put in Lucas Oil Stabilizer and the leak stopped (temporarily). I'll file away your DYI so I can tackle this in the future.

- John
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Originally Posted by cgrant26 View Post
Just wanted to say nice write up and give it a bump to the top. I'm in the process of replacing my oil pan and the pics and part numbers are nice to have.
If I may make a suggestion or two: I would mention in your write-up that the transmission should be in park or neutral. Another suggestion would be to include current prices for each part number listed. (would also be useful to list the weight of the diff so people reading your tech article could judge if a second person is really needed or not)
Quote:
Originally Posted by James92LS View Post
Glad it was of some help...

I don't think the transmission HAS to be in park or neutral... Even if the car was in gear you should be able to pull the pinion shaft out, although it might be a little more difficult. Weights might help, but really the only one that is heavy is the differential itself... We used a jack to give it support as we unbolted things. It's about 50 lbs, which isn't too bad except for when you are trying to hold it up for 2-3 minutes under the car while your buddy attempts to put the bolts in

-James
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Originally Posted by DJPolak View Post
James92LS is there ant chance that you could sell me your extension shaft puller or renting it to me for my differentil replacment
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Originally Posted by James92LS View Post
I didn't buy one. I used one of the 3 bolts that holds on the intermediate shaft and one of the huge washers under the hood that goes on the top of the suspension.

Have you read the instructions yet?

-James
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Originally Posted by DJPolak View Post
yes
but i though you sed that you got one omr acura for 70$
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Originally Posted by James92LS View Post
Ahh, no, I didn't buy the tool. I just got the part number and the price. It takes a month for the dealer to get tools in, so I skipped it.

-James
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Originally Posted by DJPolak View Post
so i do't need any special tools to do it just basic ones . also do yo know if oil pand have a gasket ? bc i couln't find one in helms bc i will change my oil pan too when i do diffirential
thanx
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Originally Posted by James92LS View Post
Not really, you use one of the 3 bolts that holds on the intermediate shaft and a huge washer (I used one from under the hood that is at the top of the suspension).

Don't know about the oil pan gasket... I know there's a gasket for it, but I don't what the part number is.

-James
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Originally Posted by DSL View Post
I would also like to ADD.

if the differential doesnt want to come out, make sure that the dowel pins come out of the engine side... mine got stuck and i didnt know why.. as i ripped the diff out, it broke the intermediate shaft tunnel.
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Originally Posted by clarence View Post
10. Remove the 36mm sealing bolt behind the secondary cover with a half-inch socket wrench. (see first picture on previous page)

can u tell me in what way did u turn the half-inch socket wrench to get that seal out. thanx
Quote:
Originally Posted by James92LS View Post
It should come out counter clockwise - I remember it was in there pretty good - not an easy bolt to get loose.

-James
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Still a fan of the Type 1, even tho its let me down twice, eventually, Im just going to build the fuck out of that engine, and show you its superiority.
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btw, all caps is screaming... please don't scream it wears out my hearing aid batteries.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:30 PM   #9
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i cant pull out the extention shaft out ...im using the bolts from the intermidiant shaft and the big shock washer .but the bolts off my intermidiant shaft are short .and it looks nothing like the pic u posted...so i put the intermidiant shaft bolt through the big washer screwed it to the extention shaft and turned it with the rachet but its not comming out ...what am i doing wrong?????
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
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I have a serious leak and its coming from the back of my differential, around the pinion area. I think it might be that pinion gasket.
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